Norwich Boot and Shoe Industry

Boot & Shoe Workers

We are at the very beginning of this project. Did you work in a shoe factory or did a relative/friend work in one If you can help please contact We have listed some of the jobs below but need to find out much more

The Manufacture of Shoes

In the 1960s various changes were being effected. In particular:

  1. New materials : coloured leathers and greater use of plastic for both soles and lasts
  2. New more accurate press knives were used to cut soles & insoles to and exact shape (rather than completing the job in the press & preparing room) The new ‘unified’ or ‘prefinishing’ process produced a complete sole unit already attached to a heel
  3. Moving transporters and conveyor belts replaced trolleys
  4. Hot air settings plants – reduced the time shoes remained on the lasts and reduced the number of lasts needed.
  5. Sewing on the sole became rare – replaced almost universally by cementing – which produced a lighter more flexible shoe